The New IBM z14 Emphasizes Security, Insights and a Connected Ecosystem

IBM z14
Tarun Chopra IBM z Hardware Offering Manager-Photo by Bill Bernstein

Clients can achieve this by focusing on the new innovations available with the z14. They want to put their resources to work building new services, capabilities and business processes. One of the major elements of IBM’s design work is out of box performance so clients can focus on their organization, Chopra notes.

Eliminate Pain Points

IBM worked with clients to identify their top pain points. It studied the marketplace and built a system that provides the reliability, security and availability the mainframe is known for, while focusing on how to overcome the challenges clients are struggling with.

IBM worked with clients using the design thinking methodology—a framework to solve client pain points. During the process, IBM conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with clients to build a system for them.

“With 150-plus clients engaged on the journey, I say the IBM z14 system was co-created with clients,” Chopra says. “This includes about a dozen sponsor clients who, over the course of two years, worked hand-in-hand through regular engagements to examine the design points and capabilities being built. We had very in-depth conversations as to what our clients are facing and what they need to solve business challenges. We listened to their feedback. All of these engagements led us to build these three key pillars of the new system.”

Reducing skills barriers and attracting next-generation mainframers was a priority when developing the new platform. Some key areas of making it easier for anyone to get up and running easily include:

  • Enhancing the coupling facility to better scale with the growing demands of workloads and make it easier to manage
  • New user experience for the hardware management console and end-to-end z/OS management
  • Standardized skills on Linux* workloads so clients can leverage skills from the distributed environment to do the same thing in a mainframe environment
  • The ability to manage the mainframe on a mobile device, with LPAR setup via a mobile console

“With these innovations, the next generation of people coming into the workforce can quickly get up and running on the new IBM Z platform,” Chopra says.

Innovation for Clients

IBM’s commitment and investment to the new system is obvious: It has more than $1 billion invested in this with more than 1,000 developers who have contributed to the new platform. The company has more than 500 new patents on the technology, with over 1,500 pending.

“IBM has put its heart and soul into this,” Chopra says. “A lot of work has gone in to be able to bring this innovation in the marketplace.”

He describes the system as having a T-shaped design, where the breadth of the system the IBM Z platform is known for (e.g., the performance, scalability and availability improvements) and the depth, what he calls the soul of the system (e.g., pervasive encryption and building through using IBM Design Thinking to address critical client pain points). From that comes a platform that clients can trust with their most critical asset: their data and the application operating on that data.

“Trust is what allows businesses to take a leap in innovation, to bring new solutions to the marketplace, to use technology in new ways, to cut across industry silos and establish new relationships. Trust is what gives the customers the confidence to share the data and ultimately do business with you,” Chopra notes. “How can you build the trust in this digital age? Ensuring security and business value in every transaction and interaction that you are doing. The IBM z14 gives you the tools and capabilities to do just that.”

Valerie Dennis Craven is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor.

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